War of the Rebellion: Serial 058 Page 0580 KY., SW.VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N.GA. Chapter XLIV.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE,

January 20, 1864-6 p.m.

Major General W. T. MARTIN,

Commanding Cavalry:

I have had nothing from you since your note of 8 o'clock last night. The commanding general directs me to say that he does not wish you to stop to destroy bridges or anything else until you overtake the enemy, when your whole energy may be directed at his destruction. Pursue him closely and rapidly. Your labor now will be rewarded hereafter by rest. The commanding general expects to hear that you are in Knoxville soon.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. M. SORREL,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE,

January 20, 1864-7 p.m.

Major General W. T. MARTIN,

Commanding Cavalry:

I am in receipt of Lieutenant Yoe's note to General Johnston, in which it is reported that you have sent scouts to ascertain where the enemy is. The commanding general directs me to say that scouting is not what he wants you to do. He wishes you to put your whole force in the saddle, and keep after the enemy until you find him; and when you do find him press him as hard as you can. Cross the river after him and keep up with him.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. M. SORREL,

Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE,

Russellville, Tenn., January 20, 1864.

Brigadier General JOHN C. VAUGHN,

Commanding Brigade:

I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your communication of the 16th instant. I have been delayed replying to it sooner by the activity of our movements in the front with the cavalry.

Your remarks as to the uneasiness felt by your troops in reference to the matter of their formal exchange have been presented to the commanding general, and he has telegraphed to Richmond for definite information on the subject. There can hardly be a doubt, however, that your brigade has been fully exchanged. I am directed to say that your brigade cannot now be allowed to move farther back to the rear as you suggest. The enemy is reported to be in full retreat toward Knoxville, our cavalry pursuing. We skirmished with him for a part of two days, and by bringing up part of a division of infantry, drove the enemy off on the 17th from a very desirable position. During that night he retired precipitately. Our loss has been inconsiderable. I regret to say that the report of the capture of General Vance appears to be confirmed; 50 of his men were taken with him.

I am, general, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

G. M. SORREL,

Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.